Students line up to trade vital organs for tuition credits
To deal with the high price of Ontario’s tuition fees, Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal government went into a partnership November 5 with Take All the Organs (TALO), an organ collection company where students can cash in their vital organs for tuition credits.
Despite it being initially met with public uproar, the organs-for-tuition credit program has been met with enthusiasm by the students using the service.
Among the many programs being run by TALO, the most popular program by far is “Tissue4Tuition,” says representative Robert Kelso.
“We offer the best prices for fresh, young organs in the entire province,” says Kelso, who says the deal with the McGuinty government was a difficult but necessary venture. “This way, students have one less thing to worry about—those being denied financial assistance, for instance, can come directly to us instead of dealing with paperwork and red tape.”
Jonathan Dorian, a third-year kinesiology major, was one of the first York students to use the program.
“Of course I was terrified,” he says. “But I did a lot of research. TALO’s known for their state-of-the-art surgical and rehab system.”
But was it worth it?
“At the end of the day, my tuition for this year is fully covered,” says Dorian, who gave up his right kidney for $4,500 worth of tuition credits. “I can use the leftover credits to buy TTC bus passes, too.”
Vanessa Hunt—president of the York Federation of Students (YFS)—is “absolutely horrified” at the program, a sentiment other campus student unions are strongly rallying against.
“This is the most revolting solution to the problem of the increase of tuition fees across Ontario,” she says. “[YFS] stands firmly against this initiative, and we urge all students to stop and think of what exactly they are giving up for the high cost of education.”
Although Hunt says the YFS is quickly planning a “Take back your organs” initiative, they cannot stop students from going ahead with selling their own organs.
“At the end of the day, it’s their bodies,” says Hunt. “It’s terribly unfortunate, but there’s nothing we can do to physically stop them from hawking their kidneys.”
When asked to respond to allegations of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) launching a similarly-themed “Souls4Membership” trading program at schools across the country, Hunt had no comment.
According to Kelso, the program is also looking to expand its Tissue4Tuition initiative to all Ontario post-secondary campus bookstores.
“Due to the expensive nature of books, we believe offering bookstore credits to students will unload some of the burden of purchasing them in-store with money,” he says. “No one likes to shell out hundreds upon hundreds of dollars for books that change editions every other year, and we understand the students’ plight.”
Low Calibre attempted to reach Glen Murray, minister of training, colleges, and universities, several times, but did not receive a response as of publication.
DISCLAIMER: This issue contains works of satire. All names used in this story are invented, except in cases where public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names or events is accidental and coincidental.